Local Reaction to President Obama's Speech

September 9, 2011 Updated Sep 9, 2011 at 7:36 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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September 9, 2011 Updated Sep 9, 2011 at 7:36 AM EDT

Buffalo (WKBW) President Obama had a huge task Thursday night. He addressed the American people with the goal of trying to solve one of the biggest issues facing our country today: too many people out of work.

As President Obama addressed the nation, Eyewitness News reporter Jason Gruenauer sat down with Buffalo State Professor of Economics Ted Schmidt to get his reaction to the President's job plan.

"I think he threw everything he could into this that would appease left and right, and a few little contentious issues," Schmidt said.

President Obama's "American Jobs Act" takes aim at the unemployment rate of around 9 percent, and those struggling to find a job, like Cristobal Cortez of Buffalo.

"It's really hard. I've been looking all over the place and for someone my age its really hard to find a job right now," Cortez said.

The President put pressure on Congress to pass the bill quickly. But experts and the unemployed both know that isn't an easy task.

"Is there hope? The problem has been the Republicans and Democrats and the fighting to get something passed. So if this continues, we're going to muddle along," Schmidt said.

"Political wise there's no agreeing, and there is nothing for the future," Cortez added.

As the President left the stage Thursday, Schmidt says there was progress made, but a lot left to be done.

"There are some pretty good ideas that he put forth and there are a lot of things both sides will agree on. It really depends on how quickly we can get Congress to act on this," he said.